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Chungará (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7356

Resumen

LONDONO, Wilhelm. SPIRITS IN PRISON: AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF NATIONAL MUSEUM OF COLOMBIA. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2012, vol.44, n.4, pp.733-745. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562012000400013.

The National Museum is one of Colombia's oldest institutions. Since its foundation at the beginning of 19th century, its main function has been the preservation of the country's national heritage. For this reason, the the Museum has for more than 100 years collected and curated materials considered iconic of Colombian identity. Perhaps one of the most important elements its collections is the museum building in itself-a construction of great historic significance as the first panoptic built in Bogotá. The only people who have questioned the historical value of this edifice are indigenous ones, specifically those of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta communities in the Caribbean region. On various occasions, the leaders of these communities have objected two important elements of the Museum's doctrine: The first is that the Museum has an obligation to exhibit items made by indigenous people; the second, that these items are currently stored in a prison. Starting from these two ideas, I aim to undertake critical exploration of the ways in which national identity is represented in the Museum as well how these representations are charged with 19th century values.

Palabras clave : Colombia; Museum; Nationality; indigenous history; ethnography.

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